Golden Pal Confirmed For Nunthorpe

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Golden Pal winning the Quick Call | Sarah Andrew

Trainer Wesley Ward reports star sprinter Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) to be firing on all cylinders ahead of an intended tilt at the G1 Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe S. at York Aug. 20.

Last season's GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner made a spectacular return to action in the GIII Quick Call S. at Saratoga last month and Ward has now given the green light to a trip to the Knavesmire, with Frankie Dettori in line for the ride.

Ward told PA Sport: “He had an unbelievable breeze on Saturday at Arlington Park (4f on soft turf in :51.80) and we're headed for the Nunthorpe. Straight after his last race we really didn't know what direction we were going. There was the option of waiting a couple more weeks for the G1 Flying Five (at the Curragh Sept. 12), but he's doing great and he's scheduled to leave Aug. 13.

“I had a talk with Paul Shanahan (of Coolmore) and he had a talk with Mr. Magnier, Mr. Smith and Mr. Tabor (owners). The Nunthorpe is kind of a stallion-maker race and carries a lot of weight at this time of year.

“He's got a direct flight from Indianapolis to Stansted and then off we'll go. Frankie is going to ride and we're excited.”

Golden Pal's task at York has, on paper at least, been made easier by the retirement of dual Nunthorpe hero Battaash (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), a horse Ward admits he is full of admiration for.

“It's always a shame for racing every time a great old warrior like that is retired,” Ward said. “I have certainly been a big fan of his and have watched him for all these years. He got a big following, so any time the curtain is pulled down it's never good for racing. I wouldn't want to be taking him on when he's breathing fire, that's for sure!”

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